Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Why yes Virginia there is a finish before Christmas. BELIEVE! This morning while watching LOTR: The Two Towers I put the last stitch into the border. It was nice to actually wrap something up before Christmas. Yeah, pun intended, because I'm a dork like that.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Pleasant View Schoolhouse: Getting Started on a Scrap Quilt
And determined that maybe I let myself get too sucked into the perfection of quilting. If my seams don't match up I'm not worthy enough to quilt. If my layout sucks, I shouldn't have wasted my time. I had it in my head that any sewing or quilting I did must be perfect or I was doing nothing but wasting my time and money. So I read Anna's post and decided that some random scrap piecing was in order. I had been agonising for a while over the layout and colors for my oldest son's quilt. He likes green, he's loud and a true wild child. Over the last year or two I had been gathering the random green fat quarter, a bit of green yardage and then pulled some yellows and blues and an orange or two from the stash because all green seemed a little sad to me. I thought my wild child needed a kick of color outside of green. I took my time, tried to be as exact in my cutting as possible, at least as accurate as someone linearly like myself can hope to be.
I then sat around for a week or two trying to figure out how to match up squares and rows and what fabrics worked and what didn't and then banged my head on the table and screamed to the empty house, "It's a flippin' scrap quilt, don't think, sew, don't think, sew". And that's exactly what I did.
I took this picture this morning in the yard, a cloudy overcast 6:48a.m. shot, and I do believe some neighbors were peaking out their blinds wondering what the heck I was doing. I'm the weird, quirky, odd neighbor and I'm okay with that.
Here's another picture. I randomly sewed two squares together, then stacked them up in a pile, then I determined how many pairs of squares I'd need per row for a twin sized quilt, the number was 14 and then I started just sewing my pairs together. Once or twice I stopped and changed up a square or two but I didn't really think too hard about it. The top was going to be what it was going to be and I didn't want to plan it. I wanted a joyful, happy, scrappy mess--this means that no matter how I laid out the colors it would be a success, as long as it had the happy gene, the smile factor.
Last night when the spousal unit arrived home from a long day at work he saw the quilt top on the back of the couch and a huge smile spread across his face, "If the oldest son doesn't want it, I do". That right there is success.
This is the top stretched out on DS#1's bed, OMG, that room is a dark and scary place. But the top fits the bed and will be perfect when I add a border. I had been worried and so had the oldest son that this quilt had a girlie feel to it. I kept saying groovy, not girlie, GROOVY I tell ya.
The two fabrics above are the ones he finds most offensive, particularly the one on the bottom. I had yardage of that, whoops! The top fabric, yeah I knew it was girlie. I get it, but it sure made me happy to cut it up into those four inch squares. It's the one fabric that is me in the quilt, so I left it. We have named this quilt, The Girlie Man.
Next up is a quilt for the middle son which will be a mix of old jeans, plaid shorts, some cut up button down striped shirts, maybe some osnaburg fabric and a few blue prints thrown in. I plan to make it similar to this quilt:
I like the 3x6 retangles a lot. It may end up being a hot mess trying to use denim but I'm going to try. Worse case scenario, I'll need to swap out the denim for some dark blue solid fabric.
Then a scrappy quilt with blue as the dominate color for DS #3.
If you have been wanting to try piecing but decided it's above your skill level or too fussy, or too hard, I beg you to just jump in and let go. The quilt doesn't have to be fancy, use stashed fabrics, try to do it right but don't fret if seams don't match up exactly or if there's a bit of puckering. I loved this project so much. I took my time cutting, I pinned it to death just before sewing, and I still got puckering, I still didn't sew perfectly straight but I tried, I tried so hard and that's all that matters. My biggest obsession was trying to keep matching fabrics from popping up next to each other. It was impossible, to let go of that control, to just jump in and sew strips of squares together and see what turned up where, it was fun and liberating.
This quilt couldn't be more basic:
4 inch squares
14 to a row
21 or 23 rows of squares
From the Cross Stitch Pile:
Progress on La D Da's In the Garden. This is taking forever! I'm finally down to a bit of filling in and the border. Maybe I'll have this finished by the weekend.
Monday, November 01, 2010
Fabric used for lining treat bag
Backing fabric for pinkeep-yeah, my homespun has a touch of bling, that's how I roll
Thursday, October 28, 2010
And posing with my Notforgotten Farm pinkeeps is my Lolita Queen of the Dead needle attracter(yeah probably not a word but I'm not sure if the term needleminder is trademarked, so work with me ok?) I saw the cabochon and had to have it. A touch of glue, a super magnet and viola, a needle sucker of my own making.
Friday, October 08, 2010
I charted out the words on some graph paper I printed out from the Cyberstitchers site.
The moon face is actually a sun face I took from Here Be Wyverns by Nancy Spies. The current debate around my house is whether to make the moon actually round or leave his face floating out there. Right now I'm thinking about leaving him as is because I'm having issues charting a circle, it's wonky as all get out and I'm pretty sure when the stitchin's done I'll be dyeing my fabric so stitching the moon or outlining the moon is a decision I can make later.
I freehanded the waves and basically just started stitching and frogging until I got a shape I liked. I did mention this whole process is organic right?
My witch silhouette was a doodle, then I tried to chart the outline and then stitch her from that. She's not perfect but just attempting this got me out of my comfort zone which is a good thing, I think.
Good or bad the verse is 100% mine. I'm struggling with my second verse and the scene so I've set it aside to work on Primitive Needle's Tis Halloween and Scarlet Letter's Emma Lerch.
All I'll say about Market is OMG, I have to have all of the new Primitive Needle designs, I love Plum Street Sampler's Sea Hag and the Prairie Moon Halloween sampler.
Don't forget to check out Missy Ann's blog for the 31 Days of Halloween giveaway extravaganza!
Friday, October 01, 2010
Wednesday night after working on La D Da's In the Garden and Notforgotten Farm's Halloween Queen I had the strangest dream. You see the snake? You see my Pumpkinheaded Queen? Well in my dream they were chasing me. The dogs woke me up at 2 a.m. which is why I don't know if they ever caught me but let me tell you I woke up sweating and exhausted. See the snake below? He was chasing me in his coiled around Eve shape. Eve was no where to be found so he was kind of bouncing like a Slinky or sproingy springy kind of thing. Yes, it was as weird as it sounds. And no I did not drop any acid before bedtime. If I had I suspect his coloring might have been a bit more vivid.
It was a little breezy today so I pulled out some books to help hold down the Queen during her photo shoot because I wasn't in the mood to whacked with a stick or for her to blow off the table and get dirty. I have enough dog and cat hair issues to add outside dirt to the equation.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I think the pins are making it look not so straight. Attaching trim is not one of my strong points and I kept asking the spousal unit if it would be wrong to give Pam the box and trim and a bottle of glue and tell that I'm sure she could do a better job than me. He said that would be major, big time tacky, especially since she had to line the patchwork bag I gifted her with since I had a sewing meltdown. I perservered and got this finished despite not being quite satisfied with the finished result but it is what it is and she knows I made it with love and I should add that I was only ten days late. Go me!
Close up of needleminder
Monday, September 20, 2010
That thought, that I was the weed instead of the flower in my world, well, it woke me up. I have been thinking a lot recently about changes that need to be made to make the home life better, the bank account more balanced, my body for that matter more balanced and thanks to the on set of perimenupause, something has to be done to be sure that I do not allow the crazy to wrap it's arms around me too tightly. Lately I have felt that a dive into complete and total crazy was no farther away than to step through a doorway.
I guess knowing that the crazy is right there ringing the doorbell is a good thing but with this whole perimenupause thing it comes over me like a rogue wave. One moment I'm calm, doing something completely normal and the next thing I know, I'm in the fetal position in the middle of the living room floor sobbing like there's no tomorrow. I've been having a lot of days where I just want to stick my head in the oven and call it good.
So that's where I've been, how's things in all y'all's worlds?
The other day I came home from schlepping people here and there and what did I see but a package on my doorstep. I hadn't ordered anything that I could recall, and then I recognised the return address on the package and wondered what in the world this stitching friend had sent me. I opened the package to find what you see pictured below:
I so heart the pink skull and crossbones. The chart is By the Bay's Santa at the Seashore, there's a bright skull and crossbones notebook for making lists of all those projects I never seem to finish and some Sugar & Cream cotton for knitting some handy dandy warshrags. Thank you so much Jeanne! With all you have going on in your life, to think of me, well it just left me verklempt.
Speaking of projects, I did finally manage to finish something:
I have no idea why it took me so long to get around to stitching this piece. I love her and the colors are perfect to hang with my Mairmaid's Song and Sirens of the Sea(also CHS). I will admit to one very sad moment, I had twittered that the piece was finished, only to realize a few hours later that I had forgotten all the background stitching on the three bands. I was devastated. I was so ready to have this DONE. But I finally sucked it up, did a stitching marathon, got to love Peter Jackson for making the Lord of the Rings trilogy the single longest movie marathon in the history of the world.
How about the dishwasher? I had just emptied the dishwahser when I noticed Mittens and Katie jumping around inside.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Yes, I've been stitching but more about that in a bit. Along with stitching I've been haunting thrift stores for supplies for future projects. On one of those outings I saw this sweet frame. Admittedly I'm not really about the "sweet" or the "precious". I was more about the shape and how it resembled a tombstone. Don't you see the goth potential here?
The needlework on the right is CHS Hannah Skinner. I can't decide if it can be fit to the frame or if I need to go in search of another frame. There's a close up below:
Although after seeing what Kim did with her copper paint and antique patina, I'm wondering if this frame might be worthy of a do-over. I think the black paint stain made it more tombstoney, but that verdigris would look all mossy and more graveyard like don't ya think?
Here's a close up of Phoebe. I'm debating aging this frame. $4 at T. J. Maxx can't beat that price.
Felt Scrabble tiles? No, I've been playing around with an idea for a banner. Maybe I'll have a finished picture of that later this week. Right now I'm debating to pink or not to pink? With the pinking shears that is.
Here's the high schooler:
He was so thrilled to be starting school, can you tell? The spousal unit and I are excited that he didn't burst into flames when the sun touched his skin. He spent his vacation in the Land of XBOX but now that he's gone back to school I worry that the world will be overrun with zombies. I'm 100% sure that his dedication to the Land of XBOX kept us all safe these last eight weeks or so.
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
I thought I would have a finish to show you all, I even tweeted that I had a finish, only to have to be a takerbacker when I realized I missed the whole bottom band of the sampler and forgot to do the background fill in work on two bands. YIKES! I reckon I was ready to be done with that project!
There really isn't much going around these parts at the moment. I'm doing lots of stitching because it's too hot to do anything else. I should be cleaning but we need to paint and I want to rearrange furniture and pictures on the walls and I've been looking at various albums where people show their stitching and home decor and I really want to know why one person can hang a picture on a wall and stick some knick knacks around it and it looks awesome and I swear I could hang the exact same picture, have similiar knick knacks and it look like a pile of junk? I have been searching for my inner style and I have concluded that it just doesn't exist.
I mean people can have old peeling paint furniture in their homes and it looks awesome, I have the same furniture in my house and it just makes me look, oh, how do I put this, poor. It has no style, makes no statement other than "this person can't afford new furniture or a bucket of paint". The same piece in someone else's home is charming. How do they do that?
Speaking of decorating I saw these:
desire to inspire - desiretoinspire.net - Flickr finds - embroidery hoops
Then became obsessed with this particular picture:
fabric hoop bulletin board Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Went in search of a tutorial and found one here:
DIY: Embroidery Hoop Corkboard or here:
sweet jessie: Put a Cork in it
I thought these were just the coolest thing. Perfect bulletin board for someone who loves needle, thread, hoop. So I put these on my list for making in the not too distant future. I want a couple for the kitchen and a couple to go over my workspace in my bedroom. Yes, I'm aware that people have been using fabric prints in hoops as wall decor for a while now but it didn't really make sense to me(back to the old they can do it and it look cool, I do it and it looks dumb) but the bulletin board twist sucked me in. It all made sense. Something useful and pretty.
I've also been thinking a lot about my mermaid stitching. I've stitched quite a few with more to go, I have several Heaven and Earth Designs mermaids from various artists along with more primitive mermaids and the Mirabila mermaids to all mix in together. I started wondering, if I lived in a log cabin in Idaho would I still hang my mermaids, would they be relevant to that life style? I decided that yes they would.
I stitch what I love, what inspires me, what makes me dream while stitching, kind of like a good book. Part of the reason I enjoy reproduction samplers is thinking about what the original stitcher was thinking when she mapped out her sampler or chose the colors. I'm getting ready to start Emma Lerch from the Scarlet Letter and I've been thinking a lot about her funky pink house and what made her stitch her house that color. I mean a pink house in today's Florida isn't unheard of but Emma was in Pennsylvania in 1830 and it's possible that the peachy rose color was as close to stone or brick that she could find but I like thinking that she reached for that color for no other reason than it made her happy. Maybe she was from a somber household where her world was mostly gray and dark and choosing the pink for the house was her way of rebelling.
Yes, once I again I show you, the reader, that I have no life.
In other news we watched Kick Ass last night. I love that movie. We saw it at the movie house and I couldn't wait to get it when it came out on DVD. Fun, fun, fun.
I'm listening to the Tale of Halcyon Crane(Wendy Webb) at the moment and reading The Girl Who Chased the Moon(Sarah Addison Allen). On my nook I'm reading Patriot Witch by CC Finlay.
If you're looking for a very different way to prepare summer squash last night for supper I made:
Summer squash enchiladas Homesick Texan
I used Ancho Chiles because that's what I could find at Publix without having to make a trip to the Tienda. Very spicy and very good. I think adding some sweet corn to the filling would be a nice addition. If you can't find the dried peppers I had considered making it with canned enchilada sauce as the base and working from there. I wasn't sure it would work but that was my option if I couldn't find the ancho chiles. This was a very filling vegetarian meal.
Yesterday I was channel surfing and came across the Duggars at Pinnacle Mountian State Park in Little Rock. I almost cried. We spent a lot of time at that park when we lived in Arkansas. Sure the mountian is only 1,100 feet but we climbed it often, spent a lot of time there with the boys and I climbed it when I was eight months pregnant with my now 14 year old.
I started thinking about the girl I used to be. I am an outdoorsy girl not be confused with athletic. I love being outside. I'd rather sit under a tree and read a book or stitch than just about anything. I love hiking and walking through the woods(in Florida that can be dangerous as we have scary poisionous snakes-not a lot of woodsy hiking for me at the moment). I think that's why gyms just don't do it for me. If I'm going to walk I want to experience the outside, the woods, the sights, the activity outdoors. It's been too hot to be outside much this summer. I miss it and I miss the girl I used to be. The girl who went hiking on weekends. The girl who kept a backpack ready to go with water and energy bars(usually bite size Snickers--we're talking 16 years ago). I miss my crunchy granola inner hippie. Somewhere along the line I became one of those people that just, I don't know, exists. I've been reflecting a lot on where I was 20 years ago and where I am now, physically more than anything but I plan to get back to walking because I want to feel good. I'll never be skinny and that's not really my goal. I just want to be healthy. I want to reclaim my inner outdoorsy chick and I hate that I'm such a wimp that sitting outside reading a book is just the worst thing I could think of doing these days much walking in the heat. It's been bad this summer.
I also have been reading more and more about growing my own food and learning more about canning and living off the grid. You know, so I can stick it to "the man".
A few things I'm going to focus on over the next few months:
Walking more, period, getting over myself and the heat and just doing it.
Getting back to more whole foods eating.
Learning how to make biscuits, why didn't I let my Mamaw teach me? Because back then I was going to grow up and have a chef. (This would be in my Harlequin Romance phase, I so bought into that dream!)
Simplify things around the house. We toss out stuff every so often but we still have a lot crap that serves no purpose. Then again there are boxes in the garage that might just hold some treasures I've forgotten about. Never know until I start digging through them.
Work more on my sewing skilz. I really want to work on sewing clothes. Why didn't I let my aunt teach me to sew back in the day? (Because I was going to live in France and wear couture) I didn't see the creativity in sewing clothes, it seemed so practical, so functional. Now as I read sewing blogs and see what people do with patterns or how they make their own patterns and how they use fabric with the pattern. I so get it.
Work on my quilting/piecing skilz. I'm dying to make a quilt like this:
Wild Geese Quilt-Along « Bloomin’ Workshop
My Paintbox squares Oh, Fransson!: How to Make Paintbox Blocks got put on hold when I went to my mom's and I decided I'm going to make a few more blocks and then turn them into a table runner.
This has turned in to quite the long rambling post so I'll end here. Keep your fingers crossed I get those final stitches in A Haunting Mermaid soon. I want to move her out of the WIP pile into the finished pile.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
My new take along project can be seen above, Hester's Needle's Liberty Sampler. I really thought I was farther along on this than I am. Let's keep our fingers crossed that there's a lot more quality Panera time in my future.
32ct dyed by me linen(more aged actually)
A Potpourri of fiber from the stash
Heartstring Samplery's Rachael Holmes is seeing a lot of stitching time at the moment. This is a fun sampler and I got over myself and just pulled threads from the stash to see what would work with Beth's color palette. It's kind of liberating to pull out the handy dandy DMC color card, a fiber conversion lists and dig through the stash and find what works.
The Primitive Needle
40ct Vintage Pear
Pure Palette Silks
This is my progress on Black'd Skie. It's been a bit slow for me but it's due more to having the wrong magnification of readers, I was using 2.00 and that's just way too strong. I had misplaced my 1.50 and those 2.00's gave me a headache every single time I tried to stitch. So I found my 1.50 and now I'm back to happy headache free stitching.
28 or 32ct fabric from the stash(it was unlabeled)
A few weeks ago I started a project that's been on my to do list for a year or two. Notforgotten Farm's Halloween Queen. I found a piece of linen in the stash and gave in to the urge and made a good start on the Halloween Queen.
La D Da
36 or 40ct Lambswool(that's a guess)
And another project seeing a lot of needle time, La D Da's In the Garden. This is another project I've had the chart for for ages and decided to see if I had a piece of fabric that would work and dug around in the old fabric drawer until I came upon this piece that I'm pretty sure is 40ct lambswool but it's possible it's 36ct. I did a floss toss and decided this could work. I had thought about using GAST but didn't have all five colors so decided to go with DMC.
That's all the news from here at the moment. Hope everyone is managing to stay cool this summer because the air down here along the Gulf is a force to be reckoned with.
Sunday, July 04, 2010
A couple of weeks of ago my friend Pam and I went to an estate sale. She scored a stack of art books and on the cover of one titled Artist's Journal there was a painting I loved. The original artwork was by JoSonja in 1997. Since the art magazine was all about learning to copy the art inside the magazine I hope JoSonja doesn't mind that I begged the Spousal Unit to please paint me that painting. Since it's Uncle Sam and Mermaids it seemed quite appropriate. Also he painted it for me, not to sell or anything and the only copyright notice I found was not to mechanically copy or reprint the artwork so I hope his painting doesn't violate any copyrights.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I made a beach run this morning to check out the condition of the Gulf in my town since Okaloosa Island in Ft. Walton Beach was covered in tar balls yesterday. The pictures on the local news were just awful.
Photo Galleries : Northwest Florida Daily News
For more local news on the oil and just in case that link doesn't take you to the photos here's my local newspaper links and the local news channel:
Northwest Florida Daily News
pnj.com Pensacola News Journal Pensacola news, community, entertainment, y
WEAR ABC 3
But as you can see below in my fuzzy picture, not sure what happened, the ancient Coolpix just didn't want to focus this morning, but it could be haze from the heat too, anyway, the water is clear for the time being. There was a huge skimmer ship on the horizon and I tried several times to get a shot of it and they were all big time BLURRY. I gave up. And I'm posting the two pictures below this one all for the benefit of the Florida Department of Tourism:
Look there's some toes in desperate need of a pedicure. But there is nary a tar ball floating around my feet.